Blackout policies


This topic explains the concept of blackout policies and how they can be useful. For instructions on creating, editing, enabling, disabling, and deleting blackout policies, see Configuring blackout policies.

Blackout policies enable you to blackout events originating from various devices. These policies help you blackout events only, they are not applied to data. 

Use these policies to configure a specific time period during which notifications about particular incoming events are ignored. The selection criteria in the blackout policy defines the conditions based on which events are selected for blackout. By default, new events that are open, are blacked out during the blackout period. However, you can configure additional actions to be taken at the start and end of the blackout period.

Blacked out events are also logged and they are assigned the Blackout status. You can view these events on the Monitoring > Events page, by applying the Blackout filter. You can also view the name of the policy that caused the event to be blacked out under the Notes tab, in the event details.

Can I perform event operations on blacked out events?

You cannot perform any operations on events that are blacked out, until the blackout period expires.

As an administrator, you can use these policies to ignore events:

  • During a maintenance window or a holiday
  • To avoid misleading event notifications
  • Because a huge inflow of events or cascading events is expected, for example, during a known network change in your environment. 

Blackout time frames

You can configure one-time or recurring blackouts. You can also select a desired time zone under the Advanced Settings.

  • One-time blackout: Can be used to black out event notifications during a specified time period only, such as a holiday, or during an expected change in your IT environment.  This option is most useful for one-time events. 
    Example: From 05/12/2020 5:00 hours to 10/12/2020 5:30 hours

  • Recurring blackout: Can be used to black out event notifications for a specified time period on a recurring basis, such as during a regular maintenance window, or if your IT operators do not want to see event notifications during certain times of the day. You can customize the recurrence pattern based on your needs. For example, you can define a date and time range and specify the recurrence to work on certain days of the week, certain days of the month, and so on. You can even configure the blackout period to exclude weekends, or end after a particular number of occurrences or never end. 
    Examples: 
    • From 01/12/2020 to 01/03/2021, from 04:00 hours to 09:00 hours
    • From 01/12/2020 to 01/03/2021, from 04:00 hours to 09:00 hours, and repeat every day excluding weekends
    • From 01/12/2020 to 01/03/2021, from 04:00 hours to 09:00 hours, and repeat every Monday
    • From 01/12/2020 to 01/03/2021, from 04:00 hours to 09:00 hours, and repeat every month, from the 2nd to the 5th
    • From 01/12/2020 to 01/03/2021, from 04:00 hours to 09:00 hours, and repeat every month, on the 2nd, 5th, and 7th day
    • From 01/12/2020, from 04:00 hours to 09:00 hours, and end after 10 occurrences

Blackout actions

By default, new open events matching the selection criteria are blacked out during the blackout window.

Additionally, you can configure the following actions:

  • Blackout existing events: Changes status of existing events from Open to Blackout at the start of the blackout window.
  • Restore blacked-out events to their last status: Changes status of existing blacked out events to their last status at the end of the blackout window.

Unless you configure the policy to automatically restore blacked out events to their last status, events remain blacked out even after the blackout period ends. 

Overlapping time frames

If you create two policies with similar selection criteria and overlapping time frames, both policies are applied. Let's understand this with an example.

Scenario: Let us consider this example scenario. Blackout Policy 1 and Blackout Policy 2 are configured with the same selection criteria.

  • Blackout Policy 1 is configured to be active from 8 am to 11 am.
  • Blackout Policy 2 is configured to be active from 10 am to 1 pm. 

In this scenario, 10 am to 11 am is the overlapping duration. 

Incoming events matching the selection criteria are blacked out based on the active window of the blackout policy. The time duration of 8 am to 10 am and 11 am to 1 pm have no conflicts (overlapping time frames). Events occurring in this no conflict duration are treated as per the blackout policy active at that time. 

In the overlapping time duration of 10 am to 11 am, events are blacked out as per Blackout Policy 2 because Blackout Policy 2 become active at 10 am.

The following examples help you understand how the blackout actions are applied:

  • If only Blackout Policy 2 is configured to black out existing events, then:
    • Events occurring before 8 am are blacked out as per Blackout Policy 2.
    • Events occurring between 8 am to 10 am are blacked out as per Blackout Policy 1. 
    • Events occurring after 10 am are blacked out as per Blackout Policy 2.
  • If only Blackout Policy 1 is configured to restore blacked out events to their last status, then:
    • Events blacked out by Blackout Policy 1 are restored to their last status (OPEN, ASSIGNED, and so on) at 11 am when the blackout window ends. 
    • Events blacked out by Blackout Policy 2 (starting 10 am onward) remain blacked out even after the blackout window ends at 1 pm. 

Where to go from here

To create, edit, enable, disable, or delete a blackout policy, see Configuring blackout policies.

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